OLH Project Director Dr Martin Paul Eve published a comment piece on the Guardian Higher Education Network on 25th March 2013, which argues that academics in the humanities need to adopt "an activist approach" to the changing technological parameters of scholarly publishing.
these projects represent utopian spaces in which academics can re-seize some limited agency, to not have things solely done to us, but, even if triggered through a reaction, to be active participants in our own destinies.
Of course, some will argue, publishing is labour, intensive labour, and academics are already overworked; why should they take on additional tasks? The answer is twofold: 1. because we do much of this labour at present: editorial work, peer review, copyediting are already (mostly) unpaid (and unrewarded) jobs that are deemed services to the field; 2) If we don't, others will decide for us and we will be wholly at their mercy. Change is coming, whether we like it or not, and it seems far more prudent, to my mind, to attempt to shape it, even if, as Walter Benjamin might put it, the angel of history will be blown backwards into the future with calamity amassing at its feet. Let us try to somehow look over our shoulders despite the storm of progress.
Read the article in full on the Guardian website.
Image by Astro Naut under a CC BY-NC-ND license.